Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Fifty Shades of Grey – 2015

Fifty-Shades-of-Grey-Poster-3“I was watching it and I think I blacked out and had an existential crisis”. No, those aren’t the words of a cynical film critic, but the words of Dakota Johnson, star of “Fifty Shades of Grey” whilst discussing her experience viewing it for the first time . Enough said. Review over.

In all seriousness however, I told myself that I was not going to see this abomination against humanity.
Watching “Fifty Shades of Grey” was the equivalent of joining the church of Scientology. I was never interested and never will be, no matter how many free personality tests, or hand-cuffs for that matter, you present me with. It seems however that I have gone against my pride, and within the space of 125 minutes, I’m now worshiping the almighty Xenu in all his glory! 

“Fifty Shades of Grey” has been the most discussed release of not just the month of February, but 2015 so far, and understandably so.
An attempt to transition the mediocre best-selling novel onto the big screen, Sam Taylor-Johnson’s latest has but one quality; the shot composition was passable and there was a table conversation scene which seemed rather clever.
For someone to remark on the film’s singular and best quality being what is expected of quite literally filmmaker in history is a big problem.
There is absolutely no denying that this wasn’t to be expected for such an atrocity; it’s just you never quite understand the magnitude of the abhorrence until it’s binding you to a bed, making you sign a contract and savagely whipping you on the derrière!

hr_Fifty_Shades_of_Grey_3As if it couldn’t get any worse, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the filmic interpretation of the novel that was based off a piece of “Twilight” fan-fiction! My goodness, it’s that easy to make millions nowadays! Where’s my copy of Harry Potter?!
Our innocent, virginal protagonist Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) has a life-changing interview with exceeding billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) one afternoon, and proceeds to become his girlfriend, how lovely! Things soon change after Steele learns that Grey not only had a troubled past, he has a particular interest when it comes to certain activities…
Anyway, “Fifty Shades of Grey” quickly becomes one of the worst films of 2015 and treats it’s audience to over 2 hours of blatant sexism, offensively poor dialogue and scene after scene of below-average nonsense that is more infuriating than Cameron Diaz in “Annie”! Seriously, if you were sitting under a rock for the past month and missed it, this film is utter garbage that should be avoided at all costs! 

Taylor-Johnson’s debut “Nowhere Boy” was a film that I thoroughly enjoyed. I watched it over and over again back in 2009 and took notice of how well made it was. I remember thinking to myself that Taylor-Wood (as she was then known) was a very impressive director with a solid vision in her work. The “solid vision” for her latest work was obviously an insulting magic trick that turned $40 million into over $500 million without any creative effort or effort in general for that matter! Oh wait, no, there was some effort in framing the shots, and that one particular scene seemed okay, remember? That counts for something right? Give me a break!

50It just goes to show how much of a joke the movie industry is today. The fact that 2014’s Best Picture Winner “Birdman” grossed $76million off a $15million budget and defied expectation for it’s creative originality is something to celebrate, but when compared to tripe such as “Fifty Shades of S***” and the ridiculous box-office records it’s breaking, the whole thing cancels itself out for me.
Yes, the public will flock to see this controversial film no matter what. Why? Because the same thing happened before with the book, which happened before with the movie franchise the book is indirectly based off.
The trickling waterfall of twaddle exists for a reason; because people do what they’re told. I could begin to rant about passive reception of force-fed content and how people only want to see franchise instalments, blockbusters and best-sellers turned movies, but I’ll trust the readers of this already know what I’m talking about.
It should be noted however, that currently, when I type in “5” into Google, the first thing that is suggested as a search is sadly, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, spelled with a “50” instead, of course.

When a film is particularly bad, it’s easy for me to lose track and begin to write an opinion piece about the industry rather than a proper review. It appears it has happened once again with “Fifty Shades of Grey”. There’s not much else to say about it really, other than it is now the contender for the worst film of 2015, count yourself lucky, “Annie”.
It is interesting to hear other’s viewpoints regarding the film, but most importantly, the viewpoints of women. I remember mentioning in my review of “The Other Woman” that rather than being a film that empowers women, it paints them in an awful light. The same could be said for the cast of “Sex and the City” in that all they talk about is men!

1D274906429135-x_tdy_fifty_shades_trailer_140724.blocks_desktop_largeWell, the crème de la crème of atrocious portrayals of women goes to Anastasia Steele. She is the epitome of a poorly crafted, offensive representation of a female character.
I know the nature of her character is to be a “good girl gone bad” who has lost her way over a man, but her character within the film shows something entirely different. For about 85% of the film, Steele seems intimidated, threatened and quite literally dominated by Grey both inside and out of his ‘playroom’ and it’s hard to watch a despicable individual such as Grey get his way with almost no retaliation whatsoever.
Not once does it seem as though she genuinely enjoys her time with Christian, thus, there is absolutely no emotional connection to whatever is happening on-screen.
Christian Grey also possesses the personality of a lamp post with a broken bulb. Every delivery of awful dialogue from Jamie Dornan results in either a rolling of the eyes or a huff of infuriation.
I believe there have been clusters of concrete rubble that have been able to articulate with more emotion than Christian Grey.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is honestly one of the worst films I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s offensive nature, misfiring screenplay and all-round repugnance make its Box-Office success that much more upsetting.
With two leads that have the same level of chemistry as toothpaste and orange juice and a script that was so obviously taken from the pantheon of classic literary monstrosities, “Fifty Shades of Grey” has set a new low for modern day films.
Seeing creative and original films that are actually genuine works of art such as “Boyhood”, “Whiplash” and “Birdman” receive recognition resulted in some proper happiness on my part, but it’s films such as “Fifty Shades of Grey” and their ludicrous financial success that remind us we are taking one step forward and seven steps back…



One comment on “Fifty Shades of Grey – 2015

  1. Dan O.
    March 9, 2015

    Good review. The one piece of credit I have to give this movie is the fact that it was frank about sex. However, it’s still a dull movie nonetheless.

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